Tackling climate change and protecting the environment is one of the issues I am frequently contacted about by constituents – and in particular, young people.
The need to tackle climate change is clear, and I am committed to working locally and nationally to help us reach our Net Zero goals by 2050.
Our local area is helping to lead the way in this fight. I have seen the great work at Wicken Fen, with the National Trust’s plans to recreate the ancient wetlands and restore habitat for endangered species.
And the commitment of local schools to reduce their use of plastic and educate others about alternative ways of sustainable packaging.
Our region is also home to the Centre for Climate Repair, set up at the University of Cambridge. It addresses concerns that existing and conventional efforts to curb global warming are not sufficient and looks at developing more radical ways of solving the climate change crisis.
Locally, cycling has always been central to Cambridgeshire, and with the construction of new Greenways cycle lanes, Bottisham, the Swaffhams, Fulbourn, Horningsea, Linton and Waterbeach will enjoy greater provision than ever before. I'm delighted that these routes have been approved, and that future generations will be able to enjoy safe, designated cycle lanes into Cambridge. I'm working with the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which oversees the Greenways Schemes, to ensure that the routes are completed as fast as possible.
Swaffham Prior’s Community Heat Project has received £3.3m from the UK Government and is the first of its kind in the country to take an entire village off oil heating.
I supported this project by arranging a meeting with the Minister for Business to obtain Government grant funding for this innovative project. The project, has been spearheaded by members of the village, Swaffham Community Land Trust and Cambridgeshire County Council, and build a blueprint for other areas across our region and across the country on how renewable energy can be used to decarbonise and provide affordable energy.
Nationally, the government is committed to reaching its Net Zero by 2050 goal. In 2021, it enshrined in law the world’s most ambitious climate change target, cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.
It also continues to implement the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, setting out the approach government will take to build back better, support green jobs, and accelerate our path to net zero.
The plan focuses on increasing ambition in the following areas:
- advancing offshore wind
- driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen
- delivering new and advanced nuclear power
- accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles
- green public transport, cycling and walking
- ‘jet zero’ and green ships
- greener buildings
- investing in carbon capture, usage and storage
- protecting our natural environment
- green finance and innovation
The ten point plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment, and potentially 3 times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.